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[Report] SENEWS-2007-12-30 Report

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I'm S Clark with Special English program Words and their stories.

A woman from Japan was telling a friend about her tour to the United States. The woman had visited major businesses and investment companies in New York City and Chicago.

I studied English before I left home she said. But I still was not sure that people were speaking English. Her problem is easy to understand. Americans in businesses are like people who are in businesses anywhere. They have a language of their own. Some of words and expressions deal with special areas of their work. Other expressions are borrowed from different kinds of work, such as the theater and movie industry.

One such saying is “get your actor together.” When things go wrong in the businesses, any employer may get angry. He may shout stop making mistakes, get your actor together. Or / employer is coalmine. He may say let us get our actor together. Either way the meaning is the same.

Getting your act together is getting organized. In businesses it usually means to develop a common and orderly plan of action. It is difficult to tell exactly where the thing began. But it is probable that was in the theater or movie industry. Perhaps one of the actors was nervous and made a lot of mistakes. The director may have said:"come down, now. Get your actor together."

Word expert Jame says the expression was common by the later 1970s. Mr. R says the man chast guiding newspaper used it in 1978. The newspaper said a reform policy required that the British government gets its actor together. Now this expression is heard often when an official of the company need. One company even called it yearly report. Getting our actor together.

The Japanese visitor was confused by another expression used by American businesses people. It is cut to the chase. She heard that expression when she attended an important meeting of one company. One official was giving a very long report. It was not very interesting. In fact, some people at the meeting were falling asleep. Finally, the president of the company said: "cut to the chase."

Cut to the chase means to stop spending so much time on details or unimportant material. Hurry and get to the good part. Naturally this saying was started by people who make movies. Holly Wood movie producers believe that most Americans want to see action movies. Many of their movie show since in which the actors chase each other in cars or airplanes or on foot.

Cut is the director's word for stop. The director means to stop filming. Weed out some material and get to the chasing now. So your employer tells you to cut to the chase. Be sure to get the main point of your story quickly.

This Words and Their Stories Program was written by Jerry Watson. I'm S Klark.

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